I’ve never been part of organising a funeral, not even in the smallest degree. I’ve been to plenty, I have been to young friends funerals, as I have lost alot of motorcycle road racing friends, but I have never made any decisions and I have never known how many decisions there were, and these for me felt like the most important decisions, the last decisions I would ever be making for Jamie, ever.
My first and most important had already been made, Taylors were looking after my Jamie. He would be in their care and how I thought about it, living in their house. Helen, as I said was extremely professional, she had taken over conversation with the coroners office and would be letting me know when Jamie would be with her. I just had to bring her his clothes so she could get him ready as quickly as possible so I could see him. I knew the first thing I had to do was get my friend to take me into town so I could find the trainers he wanted but I couldn’t afford to get him as we are a very low income family, but there was no way he wasn’t getting them. I got William a pair too…I can never treat one without treating the other.
Then, I knew what he was like, a 14 year old boy, he wouldn’t be wearing different brands…and he was a 14 year old boy, I wanted him dressed like him. So I went to his room and got his Nike tracksuit and the t-shirt I loved to see him in, a burgandy penguin speckle, he loved it as much as I did. So the tracksuit matched his new trainers and I had bought him the last gift I ever could. I didn’t want a new tracksuit, I didn’t even want a clean tracksuit, I wanted him to smell like him again. I put his body wash and aftershave in the bag with his clothes. Then knowing he would be laying on a bed to begin with I knew without a thought what I would cover him with. I had recently made a quilt titled ‘Proud’ it was a large Union Jack made with different shades of red, white and blue, it was his favourite of all the quilts I had made, so I knew it had to be his. Wrapping him in the love I had put into the quilt. I gave them a cushion for him too with ‘CWTCH’ across it…welsh for hug, so I would always be.
I had all this in a bag, and I gave it to Helen ready for when he arrived, so I would get to see him as soon as possible. Then there were all the decisions about the funeral itself. There were easily answered questions, we weren’t religious at all, so it wouldn’t be a church, no hymns, psalms, bible readings. Helen said Jamie could be taken my horse drawn carriage, or they had just updated their cars to some very sharp looking Mercedes…easy question, Jamie’s favourite cars were Mercedes…and he would have hated the horses. Songs, going in, in the middle and going out…I mean I know ‘Mans Not Hot’ would blare out of his bedroom night after night but I’m sure the line has to be drawn somewhere and its well before that! But again, these are songs that mean something to the person, the song they had there first dance to at their wedding, a 14 year old doesn’t have all these meaningful things because they haven’t lived long enough to reach these special points in their lives…so I have to choose, and again I don’t want to let him down. Who would carry him, who could carry him? Who would speak…in my mind I would want to do the whole thing myself, no one could explain who he is any better than I could, but I know I couldn’t do that, I could hardly speak about him without feeling the tears strangling me…but really, people speak at funerals, peoples kids, wives, work colleagues, friends, people with years of things to say about the person…he was 14. Flowers, coffin, buried or cremated, food, where would the gathering be after, at his favourite pub, his favourite restaurant…HE WAS 14!! Every question kept going back to that, there was no answer for what HE wanted so I would have to make those decisions for him, and yes we were close, so close, but we didn’t discuss his funeral.